Introduction: Following World War II the US Army had no funding to replace the M26 series tanks. As a result, in 1948 the US army decided to modernize the inventory of approximately 2200 M26 series tanks. One of the major issues with the M26 was that it was underpowered due to its 500 horsepower Ford GFA engine. This was the same engine used in the M4A3 Sherman tank. In 1943, the US Army initiated a project to develop a more powerful tank engine. The Continental Motors Corporation AV-1790-1 engine came from this development project. This V-12 engine produced 740 horsepower. In 1946, the AV-1790-1 coupled with a Allison Corporation CD-850-1 cross drive transmission were installed in a modified M26 series tank. Test of this power pack configuration lead to the US Army authorizing ten more vehicles designated the T40. The new power pack configuration required some external design changes to the top and rear of the hull. These included exhaust pipes which extended sideways from the engines compartment roof to mufflers mounted on the rear portion of each fender. Another change was the addition of a small idler wheel between the last road wheel and the drive sprocket. The purpose of this idler was to help eliminate slack in the track during quick turns or hard breaking. The US Army also considered mounting a more powerful 90 mm main gun on the T40; however, decided to modify the 90mm main gun from the M26 by adding a bore evacuator and new lighter weight single baffle muzzle brake.
Between 1948 and 1951, 1170 M26 series tanks were converted to the M46 configuration. Approximately 200 M46 series tanks were sent to South Korea to serve alongside approximately 300 M26 series and M4 series tanks.
What’s in the Box: This kit contains 11 grey plastic sprues, one lower hull and one turret, one plastic clear sprue, two black plastic track gigs, one brass wire cable, one decal sheet, and a 21 page instruction booklet. The molding details on this model are excellent and, in some cases, very delicate. The kit includes both T80E1 rubber backed steel and T84E1 rubber chevron track; two options for the 90mm main gun which are with and without the canvas mantlet cover and marking for nine different US Army and Marine Corps M46 tanks serving in Korea from 1950-1953. As a bonus, an unarmored 18” Crouse-Hinds searchlight is provided for one of the Marine Corps M46 configurations.
The following are pictures of what’s included in the box:
A Sprues (2), Suspension, hull and fender details
C Sprues (2), Road wheels
D Sprue, Hull detail parts
M Sprue, Upper hull and fender parts
N Sprues (2), Track
R Sprue and turret shell
S Sprue, Lower hull detail parts
T Sprue, Turret detail parts
U Sprue, Clear parts
Lower hull and track jigs
Decal sheet and wire cable
Aftermarket upgrades: This kit is so new there are currently no specific aftermarket upgrades available. I may replace the .50 cal and .30 cal barrels with barrels from RB Models; however, the kit provided barrels look very good and may work just fine.
Patton A History of the American Main Battle Tank, R.P. Hunnicutt, Presidio Press, 1984.
M26–M46 Pershing Tank 1943–1953, Steven J. Zaloga, Osprey Publishing, 2000.
The M26 Pershing and Variants, Troy D. Thiel, Schiffer Military History, 2002.
The Patton Tank Cold War Warrior, Michael Green, Pen and Sword Books, Ltd., 2012.
Conclusion: The Pershing/Patton tanks are some of my favorite US medium tanks. I’m very excited to be able to build this kit, as I believe Takom is one of the best armored vehicle model companies currently in business. The detail provided in this kit is excellent. While I’ve not started the building process, it looks like this kit is designed for intermediate and advanced skill level modelers.
Highly Recommended for Intermediate to Advanced skill level builders.
Thanks goes out to Takom for providing this review kit.
Reviewed by Mike Petty
AMPS, 1st VP
AMPS Central Virginia
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